When Hijack: Writer’s Guide to the Strix popped up in my daily listing of new products from the Storytellers Vault I was intrigued, to say the least. I love these kinds of products because they provide a wealth of interesting insights into the design processes behind my favorite game lines. Rose Bailey (www.fantasyheartbreaker.com) was the Vampire developer for CCP/White Wolf/Onyx Path Publishing for nearly a decade and if there is anyone more qualified to pull back the veil of mysteries than her, I don’t know who it is.
Vampire the Requiem has no shortage of “antagonists” to delight and entertain your players. VII and Belial’s Brood are interesting additions to the game but the Strix have always fascinated me the most. I would comb through each new Vampire product and wonder if these creatures were behind some awful event. The great thing about the toolkit approach of the Chronicles of Darkness is if I wanted the answer to be yes, it was! However, I always wondered if the authors were thinking the same thing behind the scenes.
This product answers some of those questions and I am delighted to know I was completely wrong on all accounts. Don’t worry, this didn’t diminish the fun by any means. However, it did emphasize that I was using the Strix as intended. They were fixed firmly as the harbingers of ill omen in my mind and I was seeing shadows where they may or may not have been any. That kind of paranoia can drive some great storytelling.
The best part of this product is Rose finally answers the big question, “What are the Strix?” I won’t spoil it for you but I will say the answer to that question is very interesting and perhaps ties the vampires of Requiem more closely to the myriad creatures from the Chronicles of Darkness more closely than the others would like.
Two thumbs up. Five out of five stars. Enjoy!